The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth

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9780297819349: The Lost Tribes of Israel: The History of a Myth
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Tudor Parfitt examines a myth which is based on one of the world's oldest mysteries - what happened to the lost tribes of Israel? Christians and Jews alike have attached great importance to the legendary fate of these tribes which has had a remarkable impact on their ideologies throughout history. Each tribe of Israel claimed descent from one of the twelve sons of Jacob and the land of Israel was eventually divided up between them. Following a schism which formed after the death of Solomon, ten of the tribes set up an independent northern kingdom, whilst those of Judah and Levi set up a separate southern kingdom. In 721 BC the ten northern tribes were ethnically cleansed by the Assyrians and the "Bible" states they were placed: 'in Halah and in Habor by the river of Gozan and in the city of Medes.' The "Bible" also foretold that one day they would be reunited with the southern tribes in the final redemption of the people of Israel. Their subsequent history became a tapestry of legend and hearsay. The belief persisted that they had been 'lost' in some remote part of the world and there were countless suggestions and claims as to where. At a lecture Parfitt gave some years ago in Cape Town, he was approached by a group of Africans who claimed to be members of the Lemba tribe from a mysterious lost city of Sena, and of Jewish descent. The final chapter will attempt to reveal, using a combination of linguistics and genetics, what did become of these lost tribes.

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About the Author:

Tudor Parfitt is Reader in Modern Jewish Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, and Director of its Centre for Jewish Studies.

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The author gave a talk and signed books at Waterstones in Glasgow and will talk at the Institute of Cultural Research in London in November, events are being considered at Hampstead Waterstones and by the Jewish Centre in Cambridge. The author appeared on the European and Asian versions of The World Today,the flagship news program of the BBC World Service and has also appeared on BBC 3 Counties Radio. The author and his agent are in discussion with Thames TV regarding options to produce a documentary based on the book. The author has been interviewed for a feature in Time Magazine. An article based on the author's talk in Glasgow was published in The Jewish Telegraph. A review has been published in The Spectator, The Jewish Quarterly , Yiddish Forward - New York, and the Jewish Chronicle with a further review expected in the Decemberissue of The Historical Novels Review. The material is astonishing, the resume comprehensiveSpectator A skilful guide through a huge number of sourcesJewish Chronicle A successful launch party with over 100 guests in attendance was held on 10th October at the Brunei Gallery at the School of Oriental and Afr

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